Frequently Asked Questions
Update: May 3, 2012: UT System Regents Approve UTEP Tuition and Fees Increase
How will the money be used?
The additional money generated by an increase in tuition and fees will be used to expand course offerings, retain quality faculty, offer additional financial aid resources and further develop UTEP’s educational programs. A particular emphasis will be given to programs that reduce a student’s time to degree and improve four-year graduation rates.
Enrollment is growing each year, so doesn’t UTEP get more state funding as new students enroll?
Unfortunately, investment in higher education at the state level is not keeping pace with enrollment growth. Recent cuts to UTEP’s budget have hit hard. As enrollment grows, UTEP needs additional funds. More faculty members are needed to teach courses, and the demand for student services increases.
Why is UTEP proposing an increase?
UTEP currently stands as one of the most affordable of all UT System universities and the most affordable among emerging research institutions in Texas. UTEP is proposing a tuition increase to not only offset a 15 percent reduction in state appropriations, but also to ensure that we are providing high-quality educational programs. UTEP plans to use the funds to reduce the time to degree and improve the four-year graduation rate by expanding course offerings, hiring and retaining high-quality faculty, optimizing facility utilization, providing student incentives and building high-quality, affordable educational programs.
What is UTEP doing to keep costs down?
UTEP has taken many steps to reduce costs including reduced staffing, aggressive energy management strategies, implementing a limited hiring freeze, a two-year suspension of the computer replacement program and following a conservative overall budget management strategy.
If UTEP has not yet achieved Tier One status, why should students pay Tier One costs?
UTEP’s proposed tuition increase is very modest and will allow the University to remain one of the best values in higher education in the state of Texas. Even with the proposed increase, UTEP remains the MOST affordable of all emerging Tier One institutions in the state. The additional money generated by an increase in tuition and fees will be used to expand course offerings, retain quality faculty, offer additional financial aid resources and further develop UTEP’s educational programs. A particular emphasis will be given to programs that reduce a student’s time to degree and improve four-year graduation rates.
Is the proposed tuition increase permanent?
The University of Texas System’s tuition and fees process runs on a biennium calendar. The proposed tuition increase would take effect in the fall semester of 2012 and remain in effect through summer of 2014.
Will the proposed increase in tuition affect students who are in the middle of a degree program, or just new students?
Beginning in the fall semester of 2012, all students enrolled at that time would be subject to the proposed increased tuition rates, regardless of their classification.
Can’t UTEP find ways to cut costs rather than raising tuition?
UTEP is facing significant cuts in funding, including a $27 million dollar cut in state appropriations for the current biennium. UTEP has taken many steps to absorb this reduction in appropriations including reduced staffing, aggressive energy management strategies, implementing a limited hiring freeze, a two-year suspension of the computer replacement program and following a conservative overall budget management strategy. All of these measures are simply not enough to offset the reduction in funding. The proposed tuition increase is an important way for UTEP to continue providing a quality education and essential programming for student success.
Given the economic climate, why increase tuition now, when many students are already struggling?
UTEP is not immune to the economic conditions affecting us all. The University is facing a 15 percent decrease in state appropriations, amounting to $27 million in lost funding while expenses rise with a growing enrollment. A tuition increase is crucial in maintaining high-quality instruction and programming. Please see Question 12 for more information on how UTEP’s financial aid office can help students find ways to meet their educational needs.
How will UTEP try to decrease the amount of time it takes students to graduate?
A portion of UTEP’s Tuition and Fee Proposal is a plan to reduce time to degree and improve four-year graduation rates. The plan focuses on three areas: expanded course offerings, investment in programs that have proven to be effective and creation of a $250 incentive award for students who complete 36-credit hours during an academic year.
Why does UTEP need to raise tuition if the University has enough funding to construct new buildings on campus?
Construction on the UTEP campus is a sign of growth and investment. Funds utilized in the construction of academic buildings come through state issued bonds that are appropriated to institutions of higher education, not through tuition and fees. An increase in tuition and fees will support instructional and institutional operating costs, not go toward the construction of new buildings.
What assistance will UTEP provide to help students financially?
UTEP’s Office of Financial Aid provides information on grants, loans and other forms of financial aid available to students. Students are also encouraged to apply for scholarships and seek out on-campus student employment.